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Showing posts from July, 2013

Timing is everything

It turns out it was nothing to do with my cack-handed needling after all. My fistula, my trusty bulging buddy for the last five years and counting, is on his last legs. Not his fault, the poor little guy; he is exhausted, and adding an extra two dialysis sessions to his weekly schedule didn't help. Yet he has chosen to collapse at the worst possible time: I am a week into my internship, and working on the most important opportunity of my career to date.

Here comes the technical stuff...

After Friday's abortive session, my fistula didn't work on Saturday either, so after an hour of good, solid crying on Ellie, I pottered off to the hospital unit, certain that the nurses could do what I hadn't managed and get a needle into the upper of my two insertion sites. The senior matron rammed one in, but no blood came out; when she started frowning and shaking her head I knew something was wrong.

I managed to start a one-needle dialysis session, but it offers a very mediocre sta…

The wrong place

It is Friday night and I am not dialysing. This is not because I am drinking Kopperberg with friends on Clapham Common as I would liked, but because, having rushed home from an incredibly tiring week, I managed to misplace one of my needles. I don't know whether my fistula is "blown" or whether the needle was just in the wrong place; a different solution is needed for either eventuality. Being late on a Friday night, I couldn't get hold of any of the nurses, and never having misjudged my needling before, I didn't know what to do. I So I cried for a bit, then decided to sack off the session and sit on my sofa eating ham and hating myself because I wasn't even hungry. I haven't dialysed and I need to; I will miss three hours worth of treatment this week and now tomorrow's session is pivotal. I am terrified it is going to happen again, or that there is something wrong with my fistula, and everything is going to turn to shit; as it will be Saturday, I do…

The Running Classes

I have started running again, much to my own delight. I was out on the common at 10 this morning, basking in the warm sunshine and my own sense of superiority, happy as a clam that I was neither crippled by foot pain nor suffering the ill-effects of a haemaglobin level stuck somewhere between 5 and fuck all.

It occurred to me as I bounded along that just as the population of London delineates itself into tribes - the Trendies of Dalston, the Yummy Mummies of Stoke Newington, the Poor People of Tower Hamlets - the running world is also comprised of a number of different sub-sects, creating its own little microcosm. I have identified them thus:

The Pros

You have to get up early to see a genuine Pro. Easily recognisable by their attire: expensive lycra, sports sunglasses and niche brand trainers. Sometimes they wear hats. They run faster than you, and look more determined; running is not exercise - it is a way of life. Get out of their way and don't try and make eye contact - to a Pr…